The long-awaited Eataly Dallas — the first location in the state for the Italian food megacenter — is set to open at noon Dec. 9.
Eataly Dallas will mark the seventh location in the United States and the 41st worldwide. The space in NorthPark Center will span across 46,000 square feet and offer more than 10,000 Italian products. There will be three restaurants in the store offering takeout and delivery, and virtual cooking classes.
Although the Eataly experience may be limited for now because of the pandemic, Adam Saper, a managing partner for Eataly in North America, hopes people will at least explore ingredients from the store.
“There's one thing you should do during this pandemic,” Saper says, “and that is learn to cook. ... That’s something that has allowed us to tread water and get to the other side of this. Many people are discovering us in the cities where we're open as being a great marketplace and saying, ‘I want to bring home great stuff to eat.’”
For grocery products, Eataly Dallas will source ingredients from various parts of the world, including olive oil, cheese and tomatoes you can’t get in the United States, according to Saper.
During the pandemic, Eataly Dallas will offer meal kits, including sauces, pastas and dishes that would otherwise only be available in the restaurants.
“It’s allowing you to do the last part,” Saper says. “We’re sort of doing 75% of the work, and you still get a fresh meal at home.”
The restaurants include a rooftop bar and lounge called Terra, with smoked cocktails, seasonal grilled dishes and an extensive wine list. La Pizza & Pasta will offer, as its name suggests, Neapolitan pizza, along with pasta from Gragnano, Campania. Il Pastaio’s menu, the third dining location, will consist of regional pasta dishes prepared daily by pastai, or in-house pasta makers.
Several COVID-19 safety guidelines will be in place at Eataly Dallas. These will range from basic mandates, such as employees wearing masks and gloves at all times, to more enhanced ones, like plexiglass barriers between customers and employees. Pay stations will be sanitized between checkouts, where guests will be encouraged to pay cashless. Eataly Dallas will partner with UberEats and DoorDash for delivery from the restaurants, as well as Instacart and Mercato for grocery delivery.
When choosing a location for Eataly Dallas, Saper and the Eataly team found NorthPark Center to be central in the city. They liked how easy it would be to enter the store from inside or outside of the mall. Although he did not anticipate a delayed opening because of a global pandemic, Saper looks forward to seeing the restaurants and grocery store packed, as soon as it’s safe to bring in crowds.
“I believe that the future is created by optimists,” Saper says, “so I believe that we have to be optimistic in this [time] if we want to have a future.”
Eataly Dallas, 915 N. Park Center (inside NorthPark Center). Set to open at noon Dec. 9.
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